, 8 tweets, 8 min read Read on Twitter
1/n Lab equipment is really expensive and rarely open-source. Case in point, neural stimulators, which often run in the $2k-10k range. So @__jonnew, @SchillerJackie, Matt Wilson and I put together an open source one for $200. We call it Stimjim! biorxiv.org/content/10.110…
@__jonnew @SchillerJackie 2/n Stimjim's primary purpose is in vivo electrical stimulation. It has two electrically isolated output channels capable of generating arbitrary current (up to +-3mA) or voltage pulses (up to +-15V) as short as 20 microseconds at sub-Hz to kHz frequencies.
@__jonnew @SchillerJackie 3/n Stimjim is based on @paulStoffregen's amazing Teensy 3.5 microcontroller board, so you can program it via the Arduino IDE and use all the lovely libraries available. We provide a capable default sketch for arbitrary pulse trains, but you can change its behavior as you need.
@__jonnew @SchillerJackie @PaulStoffregen 4/n We tested Stimjim by stimulating a mouse's medial forebrain bundle (MFB). For those who've never seen this, mice strongly seem to "like" this. If you pair a particular action with MFB stimulation, mice start to do that action A LOT. Stimjim works well for MFB stimulation.
@__jonnew @SchillerJackie @PaulStoffregen 5/n Stimjim can be used to train mice to run, to lick, and even to reach for things (not in the paper). Here's an example of a mouse trained to reach for a target, while head-fixed for two-photon microscopy. Each time she touches the target, she gets MFB stimulation.
@__jonnew @SchillerJackie @PaulStoffregen 6/n A common problem encountered with in vivo stimulation is that it's not clear if the electrode is properly connected. Stimjim actually measures the output current, and therefore can detect if the stimulator is properly connected. No oscilloscope needed!
@__jonnew @SchillerJackie @PaulStoffregen 7/n Beyond in vivo stimulation, Stimjim has other possible uses too. We showed it can be used for precisely-timed multi-location stimulation of neurons in brain slices. Other possible uses: Stimulating other excitable tissues like cardiac tissue? Muscles? Electroplating tetrodes?
@__jonnew @SchillerJackie @PaulStoffregen 8/8 How do you get one? (1) @OpenEphys is considering distributing Stimjim, so let them know if you're interested! open-ephys.org/stimjim. (2) You can also build one yourself! Check out the repository at bitbucket.org/natecermak/sti… and the paper on biorxiv at biorxiv.org/content/10.110…
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